Why them?

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I find it very hard to fathom any of the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime, but the one thing that gets to me most is the murder of children.

They did not pose any threat or any kind of danger, neither did their parents, but the children had no option to defend themselves.

They weren’t even led like lambs to the slaughter, because at least there is a purpose to slaughtered lambs. These children were killed because of some warped ideology that did not see them as human beings and often not even as animals.

In this blog are some pictures of children, no names, just the images of children.No graphic pictures. Their innocence will tell the story.

Followed by a poem I wrote to remember them.

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Little child, you are someone’s treasure, a product of love.

You are born like any other child, no burden nor danger are you.

And yet, they fear you and want to eradicate you as if you did not exist.

Why do you anger them and what makes them hate you so much?

 

Your eyes are sparkling like diamonds or bright stars above.

A pure miracle created by two people who are now in awe of you.

But alas that is not enough for you to be granted a long fulfilling life.

For there are those who do not see that purity, to them you’re less than a thing.

 

It is not your fault nor is it your parents mistake.

You are perfect but the world you’re born into isn’t

Little child you are someone’s treasure, a product of love.

But that just isn’t enough.

Love and War

It wasn’t only death and destruction during WWII, sometimes there was time for a bit of romance and love.

Whispering sweet nothings

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US Army Nurse kissing a Corporal. They were just married

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A daughter awaiting her father’s arrival home

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This “no, no, not yet” goodbye

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Welcome home, a family re-united.

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The kisses and tears of a goodbye between soldiers and their sweethearts after a brief leave in 1944, at Penn Station, New York City

 

A Canadian soldier and his new British girlfriend

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A soldier’s day off, might as well make the most of it.

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The Sacrifice

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Tjideng-Batavia:Japanese Concentration camp.

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Although the Japanese may have called it an Internment camp, make no mistake about it, Tjideng was nothing other then a concentration camp.

Batavia came under Japanese control in 1942, and part of the city, called Camp Tjideng, was used for the internment of European (often Dutch) women and children. The men and older boys were transferred to other camps, many to prisoner of war camps.

Initially Tjideng was under civilian authority, and the conditions were bearable. But when the military took over, privileges (such as being allowed to cook for themselves and the opportunity for religious services) were quickly withdrawn. Food preparation was centralised and the quality and quantity of food rapidly declined. Hunger and disease struck, and because no medicines were available, the number of fatalities increased.

The area of Camp Tjideng was over time made smaller and smaller, while it was obliged to accommodate more and more prisoners. Initially there were about 2,000 prisoners and at the end of the war there were approximately 10,500, while the territory had been reduced to a quarter of its original size. Every bit of space was used for sleeping, including the unused kitchens and waterless bathrooms.

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From April 1944 the camp was under the command of Captain Kenichi Sonei, who was responsible for many atrocities. After the war Sonei was arrested, and sentenced to death on September 2, 1946.

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The sentence was carried out by a Dutch firing squad in December of that year, after a request for pardon to the Dutch lieutenant governor-general, Hubertus van Mook, was rejected. Van Mook’s wife had been one of Sonei’s prisoners.

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UK  FormerDeputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s mother, Hermance, was in Camp Tjideng in Batavia, with her mother and sisters.

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She remembers having to bow deeply towards Japan at Tenko, “with our little fingers on the side seams of our skirt. If we did not do it properly we were beaten.” Another punishment, head shaving, was so common that the women would simply wrap a scarf round their bloodied scalp and carry on.

 

Worse even than these sanctions was the fear of starvation as the rations of what passed for food , tapioca gruel ,dwindled to half a cup per person a day. Desperate to keep their children alive, women would catch frogs, lizards and snails and boil them in a tin cup on the back of their irons.

The more daring risked being savagely beaten or even executed, as they crept to the fence to trade their meager possessions with local people for a banana or a couple of eggs. The internees became so obsessed with food that they would feverishly swap recipes, writing out the ingredients, discussing the method then mentally savouring the delicious dish that they would never get to eat.

Amid all this, the greatest fear for mothers of boys was that their sons would be taken away. The age at which boys were transferred to men’s camps dropped from 15 at the start of the war, to 13 then 11, until by 1944 boys of 10 were being transported. As they waited to climb on to the lorries they would cling to their mothers, not knowing whether they’d ever see them again.

The squalor from open sewers and the ever-present hunger inevitably led to disease – beriberi and dysentery were rife.Sometimes there were dozens of deaths a day in the camp.The camp was ruled by a cruel and brutal officer named csmpCaptain Kenichi Sonei.

 

Beatings were a daily event, women would have their heads shaved for failing to bow properly, Red Cross parcels were hidden away.

Every day Sonei would order Tenko. “Tenko means roll call,” a survivor explained. “We were constantly left standing for hours in the sun during Tenko.

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“On one such occasion, as we walked past the guards, my mother was smoking a cigarette, just received in a precious Red Cross parcel.The camp commandant spotted her and, furious because she had not shown him the respect he expected from the hated Dutch women, he strolled over and smacked her hard on the face. My world nearly fell apart. I pleaded with him not to hit her again and at that moment he was distracted because one of the guards drew his attention to somebody else’s misdemeanour.”

A girl had been spotted holding a little puppy. Sonei rattled out an order.

“The guard took the puppy from her and, with a wide grin on his face, put a piece of string round its neck and hanged it from the barbed wire fence.”

Such barbarous acts were committed on an almost daily basis.

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By the time liberation came on 15 August 1945, the degradation of these women was complete. Like the POWs in their loin cloths, they had virtually no clothes, many wearing old tea towels for bras, and “sandals” fashioned out of strips of rubber tyres.

Like the POWs they were skeletally thin, half-blind with malnutrition and, as with the POWs, huge numbers had died.

(Emaciated inmates in the hospital of the Tjideng internment camp on Java, Indonesia in December 1945.

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Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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